Two underdogs will begin their journey to try and qualify for Euro 2024 as North Macedonia prepare to play host to Malta.North Macedonia Form Guide
After years of being shunned away as minnows, North Macedonia finally stood up and made themselves heard a few years back by qualifying for Euro 2021. In the wake of such a positive moment for the nation, they proceeded to knock Italy out of the World Cup qualifiers. If that doesn’t show what they’re capable of in the run-up to next year’s tournament, we don’t know what does.
After beating Gibraltar 4-0 last June, North Macedonia have been unable to pick up a win. They’ve had a 1-1 draw against Finland to get excited about but aside from that, they’ve slipped to four defeats at the hands of Georgia, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.Malta Form Guide
They are one of the smallest countries in the world by area, they’ve never qualified for a major competition, and they are widely recognised as the whipping boys whenever they are in a qualifying group. That tends to be the mission statement and status quo for Malta and while that may seem sad, the last twelve months have seen them make some genuinely encouraging progress.
They may be inconsistent, but Malta certainly know how to raise an eyebrow or two. Since last June they’ve beaten San Marino and Israel to run alongside a nice 2-2 draw with Greece, and they’ve also fallen to losses against Estonia (x2) and Ireland.Latest Team News
The latest generation of stars from both North Macedonia and Malta will aim to make a real statement here to open up the qualifiers. The good news, in both instances, is that there are no major injury or suspension concerns for either side.Match Prediction
We expect Malta to be calm and composed, not getting dragged into a frantic pace in the process. However, the hosts have a slight edge when it comes to out and out quality, and we feel as if they’ll make that obvious from an early point in the game. Therefore, we’re predicting a North Macedonia win.